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Bill Belichick Conference Call Transcript

Posted Sep 4, 2013

Patriots head coach Bill Belichick addresses the Buffalo Bills media during his conference call on Wednesday, September 4, 2013.

Q: What physical qualities do you see that E.J. Manuel brings to the table?

BB: I think he brings a lot. We know he’s a real athletic guy. Good passer, had a lot of production in college, played well in the Indianapolis game, scrambled well. We’ll have to be ready for him and [Jeff] Tuel, really anybody that is on the roster. We all know that whichever guy starts the game may or may not be in there the next play, sometimes injuries, substitutions and so forth. We have to be ready for everybody, but he’s impressive.

Q: Is what you’re going to see Sunday a little more of a mystery because of the new coaching staff and personnel for Buffalo?

BB: I think there’s always a lot of that on opening day, it’s what makes opening day so exciting. Teams hold things back and they bring out new plays, new wrinkles during the game, or different matchups or whatever it happens to be. That’s just part of it; how much your team works together – not like they work together like they will in November and October and all that. There’s a lot of newness all the way around with every team this time of year. I’m sure that will be a big part of it.

Q: Do you think there’s more of a burden on Tom Brady early in the season with a young receiving corps?

BB: I think all Tom can do is do his job and I think everybody else has to do their job too. We all have to do our jobs. Nobody can play two positions or hold down two spots. We just have to count on everybody on our team doing their job and supporting each other and being able to function and execute as a team out there, no matter what unit is on the field or what play is called. It’s incumbent upon each of us to be able to do that.

Q: What football traits did you see in Danny Amendola that impressed you?

BB: Danny is a good football player. He’s really done a lot of things in the time he’s been in the league. He’s got good hands, good receiver, can get open, make plays down the field, return punts, run after the catch. I think he’s got a good set of skills.

Q: Given the changes that happened in New England, where is this team now in terms of being prepared for the season compared to some of the teams that Patriots fans are accustomed to?

BB: I don’t know. Every year is a new year. We just take each year as it comes. We’ve had a lot of time to prepare for this season, going all the way back to the offseason program and our spring OTAs and training camp and all that, preseason games. We’re going to do the best we can to be ready to go Sunday afternoon against the Bills and see what happens. It doesn’t really matter what any other teams did or didn’t do. We’re not really focused on that. We’re just trying to get ready for Sunday’s game against Buffalo.

Q: What do you prepare for most against the Bills offense and defense?

BB: You prepare for all of it. They’re a good football team, they’re very explosive. They have a lot of big play guys on offense. They have a lot of speed at receiver, of course [C.J.] Spiller, Stevie Johnson, their whole group of skill players. They’ve added [Robert] Woods. [T.J.] Graham is out there so we have to deal with all of them; [Marquise] Goodwin. Defensively, they have an excellent front – front four, linebackers. They make a lot of negative plays, hit the quarterback, tackles for loss in the running game, good secondary players. On special teams, they’re an explosive team. Goodwin had a long return against Indianapolis. We know what kind of player [Leodis] McKelvin is. We’ll be challenged in all three phases of the game this week.

Q: You led the league in plays per game on offense last year. Do you think that trying to cram more plays in is becoming more of a priority among teams, in terms of using up-tempo offenses?

BB: We’ll see. I can’t really speak for what other teams are doing, but when we get the ball offensively our job is to go out there and try to score points. That’s why the offense is on the field. Hopefully we can do that, try to do it the best way we think possible. If that’s running, passing, huddling, not huddling, whatever it is. We’re just trying to be productive, move the ball and score points. We’ll try to do what’s best for us. I’m sure other teams will do the same, whether that’s using a fast tempo or not. I don’t really know.

Q: Are there different challenges when you’re facing a new coaching staff?

BB: Sure. There’s less information to go on in NFL situations. We’ve certainly seen things that Syracuse has done, that Coach [Doug] Marrone did at Syracuse, that Mike [Pettine] did at the Jets or that Danny [Crossman] did at Detroit on special teams. But with new players and new personnel, whatever changes they’ve decided to make from what we’ve seen, we won’t see that until Sunday. We’ll do our best to prepare for what we have done and we think they might do, but I’m sure there will be plenty of adjustments that we’ll have to make on game day. It’s always that way on opening day, whether you know the coach or not. I don’t think it really makes too much different. Opening day is opening day; there’s a lot of newness there.

Q: What makes C.J. Spiller so difficult to match up against?

BB: He has a lot of skills. He doesn’t just do one thing. He has good vision, he has good speed, good balance. He can run inside, run outside, he’s an excellent receiver. He can take a short pass, a screen pass and go a long way or he can line up and run a post pattern or a go pattern. He can beat you defensively that way too. He’s a tough matchup, tough guy to tackle with the ball in his hands. He’s a very explosive player, he’s got excellent vision, plays hard. He’s a tough kid too, not a big guy but he’s tough and he plays hard.

Q: How much of a priority is it for you guys to do a better job getting pressure on the passer compared to last year when you didn’t rank very high in sacks and third down defense?

BB: The most important thing on a defense in my opinion is points. So, we’ll do the best we can to keep the points down. That’s the number one thing. All the other things that come off of that may be important but they’re less important than points. We’ll start with points and then try to do everything we can to give up as few as possible.

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